Sunday, May 1, 2011

Snowshoeing at the end of April

Yes, winter in the Rockies goes on & on. While down on the flats we enjoy the fragrance of fruit trees in bloom, and contemplate our gardens, a short drive into the foothills finds us in deep snow.

Heinz and I went snowshoeing. We imagined we'd be on the flank of South Arapahoe Peak, but we had to park miles short of the trailhead due to the impassable road. So we hiked as far as seemed reasonable.

When your gear protects you from the wind
and cold, getting out in the winter is a delight -
no crowds, tremendous silence, and beauty.
We passed this wind-carved cornice on our trek.
When the trail is under the snow, you just find your way.

In avalanche country, we admired a small slide on Woodland Mountain from a safe distance: across the valley. (It's in the center of the photo, left of the rock)

Constantly changing conditions - wind then calm, steep climbs in the trees vs. exposed flats - often required gear changes: put on the wind-proof shell and mittens and face-mask, then take them off and find the gloves and wool shirt, then batten down again...

By the time we returned to the car 6 hours later, the icy road was wet mud and gravel - once the sun came out, things melted fast!

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